The government is keeping an eye on builders — at least that is what Central Minister of State for Urban Development, Babul Supriyo, would like us to believe.
The newly appointed minister claimed that, “Builders make life difficult for buyers. Soon, you will see comprehensive measures taken to make houses more affordable and accessible to the masses.”
According to Supriyo, complaints about builders have abounded, and it is time to do something about the menace. He said, “We often joke about how Mumbai is among the costliest cities, but even the upper-middle class cannot afford homes here. Ironically, there are many takers for the costliest apartments in the city, but the cheaper homes are lying vacant. We need to strike a balance between the two, and the government is working towards it.”
Supriyo, who was in Mumbai to meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, said, “The government won’t just comment on Dharavi, but will ensure that its development is reality,” he said.
Supriyo is probably the first politician to admit that the infamous Slum Rehabilitation Scheme has serious loopholes, isn’t really suited to the purpose it was meant to address, and needs to be revisited. He added that he is also working toward a solution on the FSI debate, irrespective of the builders insisting that a higher FSI is the answer to Mumbai’s real estate woes.
He also stated that the newly-sanctioned Metro Line 3, which awaits funds from the central government and a nod from his ministry, will be expedited, and that he will ensure it isn’t delayed because of his ministry in any way.
Supriyo, who represents Asansol constituency in the Parliament, openly criticised Mamata Banerjee in the context of the Saradha Scam. He said, “There’s no smoke without fire.” Supriyo also claimed that the law and order situation in West Bengal has deteriorated and people in Bengal will vote only for the BJP in 2016 assembly polls. However, when asked whether he will be the one leading the state during the elections, he ambiguously said he will work for a better future of his constituency and the ministry he has been assigned to.